As for "various disposal methods"contemplated" by the agency "for the thousands of tons of radioactive waste expected to be produced by fracking," Wood said that "none"adequately protect New Yorkers from eventual exposure to this radioactive material. Spread it on the ground and it will become airborne with dust or wash off into surface waters; dilute it before discharge into rivers and it will raise radiation levels in those rivers for everyone downstream; bury it underground and it will eventually find its way into someone's drinking water. No matter how hard you try, you can't put the radioactive genie back into the bottle."
Furthermore, said Wood in an interview, in releasing radioactive radium from the ground, "a terrible burden would be placed on everybody that comes after us. As a moral issue, we must not burden future generations with this. We must say no to fracking--and implement the use of sustainable forms of energy that don't kill."
The prospects of unleashing, through fracking, radium, a silvery-white metal, has a parallel in the mining of uranium on the Navajo Nation.
The mining began on the Navajo Nation, which encompasses parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, during World War II as the Manhattan Project, the American crash program to build atomic weapons, sought uranium to fuel them. The Navajos weren't told that mining the uranium, yellow in color, could lead to lung cancer. And lung cancer became epidemic among the miners and then spread across the Navajo Nation from piles of contaminated uranium tailings and other remnants of the mining.
The Navajos gave the uranium a name: Leetso or yellow monster.
Left in the ground, it would do no harm. But taken from the earth, it has caused disease. That is why the Navajo Nation outlawed uranium mining in 2005. "This legislation just chopped the legs off the uranium monster," said Norman Brown, a Navajo leader.
Similarly, radium, a silvery-white monster, must be left in the earth, not unleashed, with fracking, to inflict disease on people today and many, many generations into the future.